Since its acquisition of Furniture Row Racing‘s charter in December, Spire Motorsports had remained mum on its 2019 plans. On Friday, the team broke its silence as it announced a partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing that will place Jamie McMurray in Spire’s #40 Chevrolet Camaro for February’s Daytona 500.
“The Daytona 500 is the one race that every NASCAR driver would want to win,” McMurray stated in a CGR release. “For the rest of your life you get to be introduced or recognized as a Daytona 500 Champion. I’m excited to have the opportunity to potentially be a two-time winner of the race and it would mean so much to celebrate one more win with all of the great partners that have been with me for so many years.”
Between 2010 and 2018, McMurray raced for CGR’s #1 car, including winning the 2010 Daytona 500, but lost the ride when Kurt Busch was announced as his replacement for 2019. Nevertheless, he remained involved in the organisation, while also joining Fox Sports as an analyst. A potential 500 run was also rumoured as an Advent Health paint scheme was leaked on social media; while the scheme was not what will ultimately be used, Advent is an associate sponsor on the #40.
McDonald’s and Cessna, which served as primary sponsors for McMurray’s #1, will do the same for the #40. The number holds value for McMurray, who began his Monster Energy Cup Series career in CGR’s #40 in 2002 as an interim driver for the injured Sterling Marlin; in his second career Cup start, he scored a surprise victory at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (now Charlotte Motor Speedway). Bass Pro Shops will also be an associate sponsor on the car.
Although Spire initially announced it would field the #77 with FRR’s charter, it will be used for the #40 in the 500, locking McMurray into the race. On Twitter, the team tweeted, “We’re excited to have @jamiemcmurray as our driver for the #Daytona500! Less than a month until this car hits the track, and we can’t wait.”
Spire has not revealed its driver for the remainder of the 2019 season, though according to Sports Business Journal‘s Adam Stern, FRR President Joe Garone has joined the team to serve the same position.
The Daytona 500 will take place on 17 February. He is also eligible to compete in the previous week’s Advance Auto Parts Clash exhibition race.